Friday, April 15, 2011

Academics Have Their Hand In The Till, too

By Gary Snyder


Karen L. Pletz, a 63-year-old Kansas City, Missouri woman, was the president and CEO of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) from 1995 until the end of 2009. She is now facing embezzlement charges. The F.B.I. is alleging that she was also pocketing over $1.5 million by embezzlement from that university. KCUMB appears to have taken the biggest hit with nine 'leadership stipends' that generally were in $65,000 lump sum payments. Pletz is alleged to have created minutes for nine fake KCUMB executive committee meetings authorizing these payments for October 2002 until December 2009. The total sum of these payments was $1,409,500.
In addition to these payments it is being alleged that the CEO submitted fraudulent vouchers to obtain reimbursements from the university for business purposes that were in fact for her personal travel and entertainment. These vouchers included trips to visit her parents, friends and an $11,846 reimbursement for items purchased at a Vera Wang boutique at Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. Pletz did not include these payments that totaled $1,074,917 as part of her income on federal income tax reports. The tax loss to the nation was at least $280,000.
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